ACE Ltd (ACE): Today's Featured Financial Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model

ACE ( ACE) pushed the Financial sector lower today making it today's featured Financial laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day up 0.4%. By the end of trading, ACE fell $1.10 (-1.2%) to $88.58 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 2,244,826 shares of ACE exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 1,396,800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $88.23-$89.76 after having opened the day at $89.59 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $89.68. Other companies within the Financial sector that declined today were: National Bank of Greece ( NBG), down 15.2%, Atlanticus Holdings ( ATLC), down 13.0%, Power REIT ( PW), down 9.5% and Marine Petroleum ( MARPS), down 8.3%.
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ACE Limited, through its subsidiaries, provides a range of insurance and reinsurance products to insured's worldwide. ACE has a market cap of $30.6 billion and is part of the insurance industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.5, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 12.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 15 analysts that rate ACE a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 2 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates ACE as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

On the positive front, American Safety Insurance Holdings ( ASI), down 20.7%, First Defiance Financial Corporation ( FDEF), down 7.9%, First Marblehead Corporation ( FMD), down 7.6% and Ohio Valley Banc Corporation ( OVBC), down 7.6% , were all gainers within the financial sector with Discover Financial Services ( DFS) being today's featured financial sector leader.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the financial sector could consider Financial Select Sector SPDR ( XLF) while those bearish on the financial sector could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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